30 July, 2007
Today, I came home from work, and... carpeted my room.
Now, I'm pretty sure you expected me to say something like "watched a Dylan Moran/Bill Bailey DVD", "ate some pasta", "went to the pub". But no! I came home, and barely had time to change out of my stifling work clothes before I was down on the floor, putting my back into it (ooh er!) and carpeting the living shit out of my room. Oh yeah. Go me.
Considering I am a nineteen year old girl with only just enough muscle power (ha!) to lug the carpet up the stairs in the first place, let alone lift stuff out of the way in order to tuck the edges under the furniture, and I have no experience of carpet-laying and no real inclination towards DIY, I think I did a pretty good job. Obviously all I have done is cut strips of old carpet and lay them down on the floor. But I'm proud of myself, and that's what matters. Now I have carpet from my old house; I have my old bed; I have a whole load of my old stuff back, stored in a whole load of my old cool storage things, and my bedroom looks fresh, and tidy, and modern, and cool, and most of all comfortable and warm (thank you, psychological and heating efficiency effects of carpeting). I also have a rather large quantity of chocolate. So I'm feeling quite cosy and at home right now, which is nice, considering my mum has just headed back up north after a very pleasant week of hanging out with her in the evenings.
I think things really are starting to look up for me. It feels great.
Also, today, Dave and I went to see the Simpsons Movie. And yes, I am going to quote the bit you think I'm going to quote.
Does whatever a Spiderpig does
Can he swing
From a web?
No he can't
'Cause he's a pig
Look out, he is the Spiderpig.
Other comedy gold from today:
"They do! Babies do have gills! Otherwise how do they breathe?"
"They get oxygen through the umbilical cord."
"No they don't! They're in water, water is made of oxygen."
"Water is two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen. And babies categorically do not have gills."
Besides, it's not water, it's amniotic fluid. It's basically made up of goo. Womb goo.
Time to stop talking now, I think.
26 July, 2007
Get your head stuck under the bed in an incident involving clothes, hair, and a spring. Add a sprinkling of dust, and wait to see if you'll manage to escape like a sneaky ninja, or die alone under a broken, creaky bed, because your housemates never know if you're in or not anyway.
21 July, 2007
May I just point something out here? Because I think this is important.
J.K. Rowling is richer than the Queen.
That is absolutely, 100% true. J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter books, is richer than the Queen of England.
They must have met, you know? Because the Queen likes to meet people who have actually earned their money by being good at something. I wonder what the dynamic was like. Who bows to who when that much money is involved?
"I am the Queen of England. I have a long and distinguished family line. I also have lots of money, thanks to them. And a big castle or five. Bow to me."
"I am J.K. Rowling. I have literally unbearable amounts of money. I have so much money, it makes me sick to my stomach. But I still love it. Every child in the world worships me. And all your family ever do is shag and kill each other. Come on, get bowing."
18 July, 2007
I just watched the last bit of the last episode of Scrubs...
WHAT THE FUCK?! WHAT THE FUCK MAN, WHAT THE FUCK
Just fucking get married and have babies and live happily ever after already, for Christ's sake. And not to those other gimps. To each other. PLEASE.
Because if you don't, I have wasted the last several years of my life watching Scrubs... for NO REASON..
Honestly. I don't usually care about television. At all. But this is like if Ross and Rachel hadn't got together in Friends... and we all know, that would have made so, so many people kill themselves, it probably would have solved the world's population problem.
And I am not kidding. If you don't want to really, genuinely throw up, all over the place, in a big sticky mess: DO NOT be a smartass and look it up. I am totally not kidding. Including you, Dave. I know I said this about the depleted uranium babies (the rest of you: DON'T) but this time I MEAN IT.
Excuse me while I go and bleach my insides... with fire.
You know what? It was so bad, and I so genuinely did not want all of you to experience this, that I came back and deleted the author and the story title.
Censorship, I know... but it's for your own good.
And no, no matter how much you badger me, I will NEVER tell you what it was.
It's better this way.
The French actually have a phrase for that - "esprit de l'escalier", or "Spirit of the Stairway", so named because the smart remark comes to you after you've left the party and started down the staircase.
This fact goes some way toward restoring my faith in the French.
Only a little way though. I mean, they can't even come up with a solid reason why they call us 'les rosbifs'.
Also, having three novels on the go - writing, not reading - is a silly idea. Because you have an idea, and haven't got a fucking clue which novel it works with.
17 July, 2007
this link. The link... of DOOM.
I know who dies. Making me the victor. Aha.
EXCEPT! That the list of people who dies, and some other statements in the main text of the webpage, DO NOT match up to the epilogue... at all. Some bits do though. And to be fair, the photos of the epilogue are more convincing than the text of a website.
12 July, 2007
Far be it from me to chase literately-challenged people down the street waving my arms like a crazy person and screaming "Identify yourself, science-dodging cow-human!" (which, although not entirely relevant in this context, is my new favourite phrase), but the fact that people are ACTUALLY considering this reform makes me hurt deep down inside.
I don't think I have ever read a more horrifying BBC article. And I've read all those scary ones about global warming, and everything.
Quite frankly, I am allergic to spelling errors. Grammatical errors, too. Syntax errors. Just errors in general. I am hideously allergic to them - to the extent that I don't have to even see the glaring error, I just start to itch the second I see the offending page - and see no reason why they should exist. Spell-checking is ridiculously easy. As far as I'm concerned, one tiny spelling error on a website throws its entire credibility into question. And to read a BBC page which is literally 50% composed of this 'simplified spelling' English, which I shall hereby be referring to as 'Retardese', makes a small but powerful part of my brain burst into flames of spontaneous and complete rage.
At risk of further aggravating this neurological condition, I proceeded to read the glossary which the article links to. You can find this here.
Now, listen carefully. For your own wellbeing, I strongly suggest that none of you ever, EVER use any of these spellings, even in jest. Because if you do, I promise you this: I will hunt you down. And I will kill you.
What this idea says is "As a society we are becoming too lazy to teach our children how to spell." This is not an idea for the betterment of humankind. This is not a treaty on global warming; it is not an effective policy against child abuse; it is not useful in any way, shape, or form. It merely justifies every single awfully-spelt forum post every dumbassed 13-year-old has ever spewed out in a fit of adolescent self-importance.
Of course, once you start spelling everything phonetically (or 'foneticly', as I'm sure these idiots would insist), you come up against some rather obvious issues. When you spell 'their', 'they're' and 'there' phonetically - which I would assume would be 'ther' or something equally stupid-looking - how do you differentiate between meaning? Don't start on at me about context, either. Leave context out of this. I don't care how relevant context is; bad spelling is bad spelling and that is the end of it. Words have different spellings for a perfectly good reason. Not to mention that I think changing the spelling of words hides the original etymology of the word; and while I'm sure that many children have no interest in this (and that most of them don't even know what etymology actually is), it is a huge shame for those of us who actually give a crap about the language we speak.
And now, to my favourite part, where I get to cease the incensed rambling and pick one of the articles apart piece by crapulent piece:
"Homophones, words which sound alike, are spell differently at present, but when represented phonetically would have the same configuration and would cause confusion to the reader. Dr. Gassner has shown great concern about this problem in his "Consistent Spelling," and uses double consonants in words to show difference in meaning."
Yeah. Because that is SO much simpler than just keeping the dictionary as it is.
"If Spelling Reform were implemented, the millions of volumes in public and private libraries would become 'closed books' (without special study) to the children of tomorrow.
My own observations on these points would agree that
'A language requires an adequate collection of various signs for its spoken sounds. English spelling reformers say we need 40 or more phonetic symbols instead of the 26 we have.' (Fairbanks 1970)"
What exactly the fuck does that quote have to do with the fact that if children can't read the language as it is now, they effectively won't be able to read anything that has been published up until now?
I just don't understand how they came up with this argument. It strongly reminds me of the way a vicar will respond if you ask him an awkward question about religion, such as "why should I accept the bible as right, just because it says it's right - surely the Koran can argue the same?" (Which, by the way, is a brilliant question to ask a vicar. They come out with some amazing shit. Then they start sweating and quickly leave the room.)
"After a short study of phonetic print, the reader will find he is able to read and write with perfect fluency."
Yeah. You'll be a fluent fucking idiot. Congratulations.
"It is said that reformed spelling would obscure the etymology of words. But in an approximately equal number of words wrong etymology would be clarified. A phonetic spelling would no doubt give many words a form farther removed from their Latin or other source than the old spelling, but the mass of those who learn the new spelling will also know the old, which will always be available for reference to those who are interested in etymology. The study of the derivation of words is a specialist subject for the scholar. As long as words convey meaning to the ordinary person, that is all he requires from them.
In the 8th Century Alcuin taught the scribes a development of script used by Irish monks. He introduced the small letters of the alphabet. Most of them have a different representation from their corresponding capital letters.  These were new characters and Alcuin could be accused of reforming the spelling of his day. He introduced new configurations to each word and we can assume that this was welcomed by the scribes who would find it much quicker and easier to write."
Ok, first off: 'the mass of those who learn the new spelling will also know the old'. Yeah. For a few measly generations. Until the first bunch of kids to be taught only the new spelling become the older generation, and nobody is left alive who has used 'old' spelling. Also, if it's that great, why would it be necessary for people to have ever known the old spelling? Yeah, that's what I thought. 'The study of the derivation of words is a specialist subject for the scholar'. So are you going to teach 'old' spelling at schools? At universities? Will people even be aware that there is an 'old' way of spelling? And how exactly would that work?
Also, 'He introduced the small letters of the alphabet... most of them have a different representation from their corresponding capital letters... Alcuin could be accused of reforming the spelling of his day.' Well, no, he couldn't. Upper and lower case are not different spellings. Get a grip. Changing 'anyone' to 'ennywun' is NOT the same as changing 'anyone' to 'ANYONE'.
It should be noted that the fact that somebody, presumably someone quite well-educated, has actually said the following, depresses me more than I can describe with words:
"Learning to read the English language is one of the worst mind-stunting processes that has ever formed a part of the education of any people."
What. The. Fuck. No, it isn't. Nobody says "Oh, if only I hadn't learned to read the English language, which I speak, and read, and write in, every single day of my fucking life, my mind would be so much less stunted!" Conveniently forgetting to mention they would also be what is commonly referred to as 'illiterate'.
"All books in the old spelling would be useless it is said. Those who use the new spelling would also be able to read the old without too much difficulty. Everyone would find it is relatively easy to read phonetic print. One verbalises as one reads. The future generations could apply this ability to reading the old print - they would not have to learn it and spell it - just read it."
Right, so, what you're saying is that, yes, it is easy enough to read words as they are spelt now - but who can really be bothered to learn to spell that way themselves? Not you, that's for sure.
Let's get right to the point, here. This is just plain lazy, on a disgusting level. Schools have now taken over teaching children about sex, money, and manners - all things that children should be taught in the context of real life by people they have an actual connection with, not just in a classroom by someone who is being paid to spew basic facts at them until the bell rings. But in amongst this, there are people who think that teaching the simple spelling of the English language is a waste of time?! I find this hard to believe.
I could read by the time I started infant school. I could outspell my teachers by the start of junior school. I am not the children of geniuses; as far as I know, I was not fed steriods in my baby food, or experimented on by neurologists, or played Mozart while I was still in the womb. I was your statistically perfectly average kid. And yet, I am not too stupid to grasp the spelling of the language I have heard every day since I was born. Perhaps this is because I was talked to (not talked DOWN to, there is a difference) when I was a child. Perhaps because my parents engaged me in intelligent conversation, and talked to me about things that mattered. Perhaps because I was read to, and encouraged to read by myself. Perhaps because I did not watch endless childrens' programmes full of nonhuman things bouncing around babbling unintelligibly. Perhaps because I was taught the necessary manners to sit still and listen at school instead of beating up other kids or dribbling on the table. Who knows. But perhaps these things are what facilitate a child being able to learn, and not the supposed complicated nature of spelling itself. A child can learn anything if you help them to. I notice that it is in England that this is being suggested, where children are falling ever further behind - oddly enough, at almost the same rate that parents become uninterested and university becomes more expensive and reading becomes more unfashionable and children's entertainment becomes more focused on giggling, farting, fluffy aliens who don't even have a language of their own, let alone English (Boobahs, I am looking at you).
I think it is hugely insulting to children for an adult to decide that English spelling is too difficult for them. Perhaps the adults in question would do well to take a closer look at the environment children are being taught in, instead of just dumbing down the subject matter to suit their expectations of today's children.
Also, on a much less 'children-are-our-future, teach-them-well-and-let-them-lead-the-way" mushy kind of level, I just think that a paragraph written in 'New Spelling' looks completely, and utterly retarded, and I could never take seriously ANYTHING that was written in it. I mean, look at the following paragraph from Charles Dickens' 'David Copperfield', in 'New Spelling' ('Retardese'):
Wether I shal tern owt to bee the heerow ov my own liyf, or wether that stayshun wil bee held by ennybudy els, theez payges must sho. To beegin my liyf wiv the begining ov my liyf, I record that I wuz born (az I hav been informd and buleev) on a Fryday, at twelv o clok at niyt. It wuz remarkd that the clok beegan to striyk, and I beegan to cry, simultayneeusly.
If this is what the world is coming to... I want out. Right now.
10 July, 2007
"Your mum's face!"
"Converse One Stars?"
"You have a problem with my shoes?"
"They're not Chuck Taylors!"
"Forgive me for being less emo than you."
"Don't even talk to me! You fail! YOU FAIL AT SHOES!"
"What would you do if you were invisible?"
"Girls' locker rooms! Duh."
"Unimaginative, aren't you?"
"Oh, yeah? And what would you do?"
"It'd sketch people right out! I'd just float on the top so there'd be a humanoid dent in the water."
"What a waste of a fucking superpower."
"Your mum fails."
"That your mum joke fails!"
"It's 2am, I thought it was pretty good, considering."
"Your mum's pretty good, considering."
"Son, tidy your room."
"Dad, tidy your wife."
"You like poo porn!"
"Your mum is in poo porn!"
"How about a nice game of hide and go FUCK YOURSELF."
"How about shut up."
"How about your mum!"
"Oh, you are gonna be the first up against the wall when the revolution comes!"
"Papa Lazarou has done for people called Dave what Psycho did for showers, and what American Pie did for flautists."
'Your mum' and 'poo porn' type quotes, courtesy of Fisher and Elliott.
I love finding all this old stuff. And a load of stuff I wrote whilst at my last (really, really boring) office job, including this:
09 July, 2007
That just shat all over my childhood.
In other news, my head hurts.
Also, as of this Friday, I won't be available for a week. If anyone needs me, I'll be in my room.
(By 'my room' I mean the one six hundred miles away.)
I'm looking forward to going home. Can't wait to see the look of disappointment on my dog's face when he realises that, once again, I have failed to bring Dave with me and my visit is therefore utterly pointless and infinitely tiresome to him. Then I should imagine he will turn his nose up at me and proceed to guilt me into giving him at least a third of my week's intake of food, as per usual.
It's a wonder he's not fat. But then I guess he does spend an inordinately large amount of time eating grass and sicking it back up. Can dogs be bulimic? Who knows.
Anyway... what with it being after 1am, and what with my having decided to train myself to get up at 7.30am (well... I am going to have to learn, apparently), I should probably do that sleep thing I hear so much about.
05 July, 2007
"What is this? A party game?"
"Yeah. Pin the cock on the angel of vengeance."
"Foreplay is the distance from the door to the bed."
"Who would you rather have sex with; Chuck Norris, or Mr T?"
"I must say, there are a lot less shenanigans than I was led to expect."
"The fridge has spoken!"
"And the fridge apparently says... 'I heart midget vagine'. Nice."
Sometimes I wonder what life would be like if I was not physically able to make highly disturbing and inappropriate comments.
As you can see, I have skipped the worrying-over-whether-I'll-get-in stage - it's a writing course, I write all the time, and believe myself to be pretty good at it, my cup runneth over with UCAS points, I have relevant work experience, etc etc. I could go down the "technically I suppose I didn't finish college route" but for the sake of my own mental health, I won't bother.
I am just looking forward immensely to having a break from this big adult responsible life thing. I mean, I know I am probably not a model example of it to begin with. I don't remember the last time I was asleep before 1am, for example. I am quite often known to just eat a plate of plain pasta because I can't be bothered cooking anything else. I am notoriously untidy. But. I have to get up and go to work and stuff. Every day. And it isn't fun, and I've been doing it since I was seventeen, and I am now nineteen, and I would like a break, please. I am looking forward to not being the youngest person around. In fact, I think I will count as a mature student (which is a horrid, horrid thought, but there you go). I have over a year to get everything sorted out - it's only three days into applications for 2008, so I'm getting it done early, which is really very unusual for me - including loans, savings, and not to mention another year to work on my writing. Considering I have only been doing it really seriously since January this year, and have improved immensely in that time, this can only be a good thing. I should also have finished one or other of my current projects by then. You know. Maybe. Perhaps. Ish.
Basically, I am going to get a shitload of money (FOR FREE), spend every day doing something I love, and not have to hear the words "smart casual" for a very, very long time.
You have NO IDEA how good that feels.
02 July, 2007
If you have ever, EVER, posted a MySpace bulletin containing the acronym "pc4pc", there is at least a 99.99999999999999% chance that I hate you. Just so you know.
In completely unrelated news, today I suddenly remembered a film from when I was a little kid, and then that kind of led on to remembering all these other films from my childhood. Leave a comment if you remember any of these.
The Land Before Time.
Bedknobs and Broomsticks.
Once Upon a Forest.
Also cartoon series:
Stopit and Tidyup.
Sharky and George.
The Animals of Farthing Wood.
Now, I'm aware that I am only 19 and my childhood was arguably only a couple of years ago. But it still seems a long time ago, and those films and cartoons are some pretty dusty memories.
What's sad is that, reading through the quotes from them on IMDB or WikiQuote... I remember all of them.
I mean, really. You'd think something a little more useful/interesting would have taken the place of those memories in the intervening years, wouldn't you? Maybe the odd physics formula or maths theorem would have stuck around? The odd chemical equation? At least ONE Shakespeare quote? But apparently not.
Catherine: Do you read the dictionary, or what?
Me: No, I'm just absolutely, ridiculously intelligent.
Catherine: Are you being sarcastic?
Me: You know what... actually, I don't think I am.
Call me Little Miss Modesty, if you will... but I know what 'cadence' means.
Also I think 'The Hokey Cokey' in German, in the style of Kraftwerk (see Bill Bailey; Part Troll) is HILARIOUS.
Du steckst das rechte bein ein,
Das rechte bein aus,
Ein, aus, ein, aus,
Du drehst es andersrum,
Du machst das hokey cokey und du drehst dich herum,
Das ist die ganze sache.
Ja, das hokey cokey,
Ja, das hokey cokey,
Ja, das hokey cokey,
Knie gebogen, arme gestreckt,
Rah, rah, rah.
That is all.